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Theatre no more attracts masses, says Minister

A Correspondent
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12th National Theatre Festival begins in Kannur

Artistes performing ‘Alami Kali’ as part of the12th National Theatre Festival in Kannur on Sunday. Alami Kali is a ritual dance performedby Muslims and Hindus to ward off dreaded diseases such as smallpox in parts of Kasaragodin the olden days.— PHOTO: S.K. MOHAN
Artistes performing ‘Alami Kali’ as part of the12th National Theatre Festival in Kannur on Sunday. Alami Kali is a ritual dance performedby Muslims and Hindus to ward off dreaded diseases such as smallpox in parts of Kasaragodin the olden days.— PHOTO: S.K. MOHAN

Minister for Cultural Affairs K.C. Joseph has said that insurance and pension schemes will be extended to theatre artistes in the State.

He was inaugurating the 12th National Theatre Festival organised by the Department of Information and Public Relations at Town Square here on Sunday.

Mr. Joseph said that theatre, the most powerful media of yesteryears, had lost its impact, while many other art forms had taken its place in public functions, especially temple festivals and other cultural celebrations. The one medium which played a major role in spreading political and ideological messages to the masses and bestowed a visual experience unlike cinema suffered mainly due to the lack of sufficient protection and financial resources, he said. Even below par television serials conquered theatre which was the primary floor for an artiste to learn the nuances of acting, the Minister said. This had made theatre lovers anxious about its future. The government would take steps to provide economic support to professional theatre troupes. The Minister said amidst its turbulent state of affairs, the seven-day festival would host a feast to the natives.

A.P. Abdullakutty, MLA, presided over the function. District Collector Rathan Kelkar, district panchayat president K.A. Sarala, municipal chairperson M.C. Sreeja, Director of Information and Public Relations A. Firoz, and Folklore Akademi chairman Muhammed Ahamed were present.

The festival, apart from staging 20 plays from Manipur, Jammu Kashmir, Mumbai, Delhi, Bihar, and Kerala, will also include workshops, seminars, exhibitions, and face-to-face programmes at the three venues.

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